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Grade Expectations

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2:33pm 14th August 2014
(Updated 2:33pm 14th August 2014)

There are cheers and tears for Cornish teenagers on A-Level results day.

Thousands are getting their results, including Michael from Bodmin.

The Cornwall College student got A, B, C and found out when he opened his envelope live on Neil and Tina at Breakfast: "I'm going to Manchester to study aerospace engineering.

"It took me three years to get them instead of two but I've got it in the end and I'm going off to a really decent uni and they've been really supportive which I'm quite thankful for."

Cornwall College has had its best ever year for results, with A and A* grades up 8%

However, across the board, results have dipped and it is thought that is because more now rests on summer exams, rather than spreading them across the year.

The number of students achieving at least one A* grade rose 0.6% to 8.2%, although the number gaining an A grade or above fell by 0.3%.

The overall pass rate also fell for the first time in 32 years, with the number of students achieving an A*-E grade down 0.1% to 98%.

The government is lifting a cap on university places which means an extra 30 thousand are available.

Ucas, the organisation which handles the admissions process, said 396,990 young people had been awarded places on degree courses - up 3% on last year.

Russell is head of A-Levels at Cornwall College St Austell.

He tells Pirate FM university is not for everyone: "Further education, higher education, apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships; we've got the full deck. It's very much a progression day and it's got to be right for each individual, that's the crucial thing. I can throw stats at you but it's about the students."

David Walrond is Principal at Truro and Penwith College, he said: "It's a life changing moment.

"I'm delighted that people are here to celebrate what is genuinely a fantastic level of achievement, they've worked really hard and they've achieved fantastically well, and they're going to the most selective universities, I think we've got over 300 into Russel Group universities and at the moment the latest count is we've got about sixteen into Oxford and Cambridge.

"We're 99 percent pass rate, but our high grades are up and that is fantastic, I think we are up three percent on A* and A, and even overall A to C we're up two percent, it is a fantastic year, we're delighted."

Students who have not got the grades they were hoping for are being urged to talk to their teachers and college lecturers.

Jane Black is the Head of Service for Learning and Achievement at Cornwall Council: "Hopefully everyone has got the grades they need to go onto the next stage, whether that is to higher education or to the world of work.

"However, if you have not done as well as you had hoped, then please don't panic as there is a huge amount of support available from schools and colleges.

"The Council is committed to raising aspirations among all our young people.  

"We are continuing to work with all schools, settings and partners in Cornwall to ensure that students are enabled to do the very best they can, right from Early Years."

Officers from the Local Authority will now be working with Headteachers and Governors to analyse both the A levels results and this year's GCSE results, due to be released next week.  

"It is important for the future of both our young people and for the future of Cornwall that all students have access to the highest possible quality of education" said Trevor Doughty, the Council's Corporate Director for Children, Schools and Families.  

"While the majority of our schools are achieving high standards, we need to ensure that all are enabling students to achieve the maximum progress possible."

Tomorrow (15 August) the Council and Unlocking Potential are launching a new scheme to help improve career prospects for graduates.

Brighter Cornwall offers students who are starting their degrees in 2014 the chance to access professional, paid work experience opportunities to help them develop their CV. By signing up to Brighter Cornwall students will also have access to networking events aimed at helping them build their network of business contacts in Cornwall.

2:33pm 14th August 2014

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